Blindfold chess is a traditional chess variation in which the players' eyes are covered so they cannot see the chessboard and the opponent's moves. The players have no physical contact with the board Instead, the blindfold chess players are told their opponent's moves, and they order the referee to make specific moves in response.
Blindfold Chess – Abilities and Health Risks
Blindfold chess requires visualization skill, analytical abilities and knowledge of chess rules, since the player has to visualize the entire game in his mind. Players who bear these special skills have been performing them in front of crowd in exhibitions. Some of them even played multiple opponents at one time, thus challenging their memory and visualization to the extent.
The practice of playing multiple opponents in blindfold chess has been banned in some countries; the former Soviet Union did so after medical research led to the discovery that such intense concentration on one specific thing for long periods of time is detrimental to the player's health. In short, rigorous concentration exercise such as playing blindfold chess will be a lot healthier if practicing side by side other forms of mental and physical activities.
Blindfold Chess Tournaments
Numerous blindfold chess tournaments are conducted throughout the year at various places around the world. The most famous of them is the Melody Amber Tournament held in Monte Carlo every March; it is a very prestigious event, hosting the best Blindfold and Blitz Chess players by invitation since 1992. Due to the strong performance element of this chess variation, gambling is often involved in blindfold chess exhibitions.
Learning How to Play Blindfold Chess
To play blindfold chess, you must first familiarize yourself with algebraic chess notation. The algebraic notation is the most common way to note and keep track of all 32 pieces on the 64-squares chessboard. Playing chess online is also a useful tool for those who are interested in improving their visualization abilities. There are many chess websites that provide free download software that offer various visualization exercises and teach chess notation.